Fear in Leicester about easing restrictions despite a year of lockdown

One year after lockdown began, infection rates in Leicester remain extremely high
One year after lockdown began, infection rates in Leicester remain extremely high Copyright afp
By Euronews
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Leicester's coronavirus infection rate was twice the national average earlier in March.


It's a  year to the day since UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson first put the country under lockdown to slow the fast-spreading coronavirus. Since then, the country has registered more than 126,000 virus-related deaths, the highest pandemic death toll in Europe and one of the highest in the world as a proportion of population.

But Britain's vaccine programme is a role model for the rest of Europe. Over the weekend, the government announced half of all adults in the UK had received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, a far cry from the sluggish vaccine rollout seen across The Channel.

In total, the health service vaccinated a total of 26.8 million people between 8th December and 19th March with first doses. Over two million people have now had their second dose. As the infection rate continues to drop, England hopes to lift all lockdown restrictions by 21st June. But in one city, the picture is far less rosy. Leicester has been in near-lockdown for a year and is still struggling with the rising spread of coronavirus.

Jon Ashworth is a Leicester MP and the shadow health secretary. He is concerned the situation in the city will deteriorate if lockdown is lifted too soon.

“The worry is of course that we unlock too quickly," he says. "We take our foot off the gas and we grow another mutation here, another variant.” 

Reasons behind the surge in infections range from a lack of respect for restrictions by the general public to a reluctance to have the vaccine among the city's multi-ethnic population.

Watch the full report in the video player, above.

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